If you happen to follow Gucci on Instagram, you may have noticed that the Italian label posted a series of short clips of black models answering questions like, “What’s your spirit animal?” and “what does it mean to have soul?” According to the captions, the “audition” videos were taken on January 26, 2017 in London for the pre-fall 2017 campaign, which leads us to believe that we will soon be gifted with a diverse set of ads that will surely make waves in the fashion world.
The nine videos all exclusively feature black models, which is a major step towards diversifying the imagery of fashion ads. According to The Cut, the models have been cast by Midland Agency, which has helped buzzy brands like Eckhaus Latta and Hood by Air find “real people” to walk on the runways and star in ads. We’ve reached to Gucci and will update this post accordingly.
This isn’t the first time Gucci has included diverse group of models in its campaigns. Last year, the label cast 79-year-old actress Vanessa Redgrave in its cruise 2017 campaign, proving that fashion has no age limit.
But in a world where some of the most talked about fashion shows—such as Vetements and Balenciaga’s fall 2016 shows—include not a single person of color on the runway, Gucci’s campaign is what fashion needs right now.
While mainstream retailers like Urban Outfitters have cast transgender and plus-size models, and beauty brands such as Maybelline and Rimmel have opted for male beauty spokesmen, high fashion still has a long way to go when it comes to diversifying. According to The Fashion Spot’s annual diversity report, out of 438 model castings for fall 2016 print campaigns, only 23.3 percent of the models cast were women of color.
Thankfully, some of the biggest names in fashion—like Kenzo, Loewe, and Alexander McQueen—have recently made progress towards diversity with a range of inclusive campaigns. We’ll be watching Gucci’s Instagram page for the full reveal. Until then, watch some of the audition videos below:
More on diversity in fashion:
- Model Recreates Ad Campaigns to Make a Statement About Diversity
- Here’s the Reason You Might Notice Fewer Unhealthy Models
- Real Women Are the Next Top Fashion Models
Now, watch model Paloma Elsesser on how she got her start in the fashion industry: